Dido was the first queen of Carthage, as well as the founder.  She is also known by the name Elissa.

She was a daughter of the king of Tyre, a Phoenician city.  Her brother Pygmalion murdered her husband and she fled with her followers to Africa.  There, she founded the town of Carthage.  She bought her territory from the indigenous kings, who agreed to give her 'as much land as could be covered by the hide of an ox.'  Dido took the hide, cut it into very thin strips and laid it out into a wide circle to claim her new realm.

When the Trojan Aeneas arrived at her town, she fell in love with the hero.  He was fated to sail to Italy, however, and so he eventually left her.  Overcome by grief, Dido killed herself.


  1. VirgilAeneid.